According to a post on the Spamassassin Tips blog, there’s some evidence that spam is tapering off from earlier in the year. Is spam really down, or is it too soon to get excited?
The post put up by Warren Togami notes that, by one metric, spam seems to have tapered off from peaks earlier this year in March and February. Togami is looking at a single data point, IPs that are flagged as sending spam by the the Passive Spam Block List (PSBL). The PSBL is an “easy on, easy off” blacklist that receives (in Togami’s words) “millions of spam every day.” It lists offending IP addresses for two weeks, and then drops the IP address if or when it stops spamming.
According to the stats from PSBL, there was a spike in addresses tagged for spamming between February and March of this year, with nearly 1.5 million IP addresses listed at some points. That dropped sharply during the first week of April (perhaps the spammers were busy doing their taxes…) and picked up again in June. However, at least according to PSBL, it’s far below the earlier levels and holding steady at well less than 1 million since April and usually less than 500,000 IPs blocked.
The question is, does this hold true elsewhere? Does it match what other organizations are seeing? Taking a look at Spamcop’s statistics, it looks like it might be. If you look at the stats on Spamcop’s site, you’ll see some spikes earlier this year (after a dropoff in late December and early January) and then a sharp decline spam volume in March. (Note, it’d be great if more blacklists and spam fighting organizations posted public stats.)
But that’s just email spam. There might be a reason why you’re seeing less spam in your inbox, because it’s moving to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. While I’ve noticed a bit less spam slipping into my inbox, I’ve noticed no slacking in blog comments or on other sites. So maybe it’s safe to go back to the inbox, but I’m not sure the spammers have packed up and become productive members of society just yet.